the other day i got on my trusty n/w line at canal, which is always a delightful thing as i can always get a seat. as i walked on the sparsely populated train, and walked toward the seat that i wanted (i like the ones on the end, i feel like i have more room) i saw a red substance on the ground. i thought "what the fuck- is that blood?" upon closer inspection and evidence, i realized it was not blood, but ketchup. (the evidence being one of those little ketchup holders you pump ketchup into at some restaurants). i sat near it, but not near enough to step in it. the next stop, i saw more people have the same reaction: what the fuck, is that blood? then realizing, as i did, that it was merely someones carelessness with ketchup, the relief flooding over their faces, but there still avoidance of standing near it. it was just ketchup, but still, gross. i wonder if the evidence of the container was not present, what people would have done. i'm sure in the true new york fashion of ignoring, subway life as we know it would have gone on as usual.
i noticed a few things as the train plugged further uptown and got more crowded:
1. afterawhile and with more people on the train, there would still be the initial "is that blood?" moment, but then no one seemed to care if they stepped on it anymore - it was rather hard to avoid. the closer we got to 42nd street, the harder it was to even see it.
2. the stench. the more people who got on the train, in the middle of august, in manhattan, the hotter it gets on the train, and the grosser the smell gets. what i learned this ketchup day is that not only do sweaty city smell worse packed onto the subway, but so does ketchup.
as the ride wore on, the ketchup was hidden by feet, and the stench was hidden by B.O. and by the time i got off, i had practically forgotten about the ketchup...